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Kyle Walker Credits Strong Competition for Places for Keeping Man City Teammates 'On Their Toes'

Manchester City star Kyle Walker has revealed that competition for places within the first-team squad has helped him improve and keep the standards high.

The 31-year-old has been a regular fixture for the Premier League champions since his £53 million switch from Tottenham in the summer of 2017, following which he has won three league titles amongst other domestic silverware at the Etihad Stadium.

However, Walker, who has made 20 appearances across all competitions this season, has never been guaranteed a starting spot in Pep Guardiola's side throughout his time in Manchester, having competed for the right-back spot with the likes of Danilo and Joao Cancelo at Manchester City.

“Would I or anyone else have achieved the heights we have achieved at (Manchester) City if they didn’t have people nipping at their heels, wanting their shirt? I don’t think we would," said the England international in an interview this week, as quoted by Manchester City's official website.

“I think competition is good and it keeps everyone on their toes. Keeping the standards is hard and you have to make sure you prepare, look after yourself and do the work off the field, not just on the field.

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The Sheffield United academy graduate, who has been one of the most consistent and solid right-backs in England over the past decade, went on to provide his thoughts on the elite level of competition and how it helped him develop into the world-class defender he is today.

“It (competition at Manchester City) is tough, but my happy place is the football field,” said Walker. "It is a credit to myself, if I do say so, with the amount of players the recruitment team have brought in, with Danilo being the right-back, then Joao (Cancelo).

“Making sure the manager (Pep Guardiola) can trust me and depend on me, I have to take praise for that. Would I like to sit here and be the only right-back, so I know that I am playing game in game out even if I have a bad training session? Of course, I would.

“But do I feel that I would have reached the standards or levels that I have achieved throughout my career (without it)? I signed at Tottenham with six right-backs in front of me and I had to go to various places on loan before I earnt the trust of Harry Redknapp."


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